Rushton’s Theory of r/K Selection is Wrong

Rushton’s theory has to explain away too many historical examples where intelligent human populations that normally invest significantly in their offspring also had high fertility for his take on the idea to be salvaged.

Examples that immediately come to mind are:

  • Puritan New England had a birth rate in excess of 8, and it remains one of the highest ever for which there are good records to base estimates upon
  • The birth rate of 19th century Britain was more than 4
  • Early 20th century Russian women had more than 5 children (this high fertility rate was one of the strategic factors which motivated Wilhelmine Germany, which had a fertility rate of ~3, to start WWI:  The German military command wanted to achieve dominance before Imperial Russia was in a position to demographically threaten Germany as the preeminent state of Continental Europe)
  • Pre-WWII Japan averaged over 4 children per woman
  • The average in Communist China before the one child policy was greater than 5

There are also intra-racial variances in births for which the theory has little or no explanation.

Black Americans have much lower fertility than black Africans; the birth rate of France after the Napoleonic Wars and throughout the 19th century was stagnant compared to either Britain or Germany; Scandinavian nations, even after immigrants are factored out, have higher birth rates than Germans.

The historical trend prior to the 20th century has been for European fertility to be comparable to low-IQ races.  It is only by focusing on recent decades that Rushton’s theory superficially appears somewhat applicable.  But because this time range is too narrow for fixed evolutionary factors to be a tenable explanation and because it ignores too many counter-examples outside of that time range, his r/K selection theory should be discarded.

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8 thoughts on “Rushton’s Theory of r/K Selection is Wrong”

  1. TFR correlates almost perfectly with religion. Chassidim in upstate NY have 12 kids on zero income, SWPLs with 7 figure incomes maybe adopt an African kid in their 40s.

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  2. TFR correlates almost perfectly with religion.

    Well, not perfectly, but very, very strongly.

    Stalin eased up on restrictions against Orthodox Christianity after Hitler invaded, both to motivate soldiers and increase the birth rate. It seems soldiers were not ready to die for the philosophical intricacies of dialectical materialism and women were not willing to replace the losses of the Red Army only for the sake of the mighty dictatorship of the proletariat.

    So are we secular conservatives left with having no hope of raising Western birth rates short of sponsoring Christianity – with the exception of Israel which sponsors Judaism and has the only elevated birth rate among its desirable populations in the West?

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  3. “So are we secular conservatives left with having no hope, etc.”
    There’s always hope — promote something based on the religion of Ancient Greece. Something for everyone: Artemis for the dykes, Athena for the SWPL officeladies, Hermes for the businessboys, Mars for the manospherians, Apollo for the cosmic class, Hephaestus for the programmers, Zeus for the pundits, etc. It would be awesome and fun. We know that it would work — remember Obama as Dionysius on the football field? 15,000 SWPLadies could have been impregnated that night.
    “But if you insist, an example of a derivative for donuts would be a flour supplier agrees to a commodity derivative contract with a donut maker to buy flour from the supplier at a particular price.”
    Okay, so why are agreements of this sort a problem for DeutscheBank?

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  4. There’s always hope — promote something based on the religion of Ancient Greece.

    The problem is the Greeks and Romans barely believed in their own gods. If they didn’t believe, how do we?

    Okay, so why are agreements of this sort a problem for DeutscheBank?

    Because the value of many of those contracts are worthless and the proportion of worthless derivative contracts sufficient to destroy the bank need only be a small fraction of the $47 trillion in derivatives presently on their books.

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  5. Why wouldn’t such a contract be good for both the flour-supplier and the donut-maker? The flour-supplier wants to sell flour, and the donut-maker needs flour but can only afford it at the agreed-upon price. So what’s the problem, and how does a bank even get involved in this in the first place? Because the donut-maker needs to borrow money to buy the flour that he’s agreed to buy? But so what? It’s not as though he agreed to buy an unlimited amount of this flour, is it? I mean, he must have guessed how much flour he’d need and would be able to afford to pay the loan for at that price, right?

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  6. Why wouldn’t such a contract be good for both the flour-supplier and the donut-maker? The flour-supplier wants to sell flour, and the donut-maker needs flour but can only afford it at the agreed-upon price. So what’s the problem, and how does a bank even get involved in this in the first place? Because the donut-maker needs to borrow money to buy the flour that he’s agreed to buy? But so what?

    The “So what?” comes into play when the contract does not reflect the true value of the flour and either the buyer and/or the seller default on their bank loans. Bank loans enter the equation because the vast majority of businesses do not fund their operations (such as flour buying or flour production) with cash payments; their operations are financed with loans that given to them by banks.

    If the price of flour declines to the point where selling flour is no longer profitable, the contract leads to losses for the supplier. If the price of flour rises too high from what the buyer expected when it signed the contract, the buyer experiences losses. If losses are high enough for either the supplier or the buyer, one of them may go bankrupt and take the bank that lent them money down with them.

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  7. Didn’t you say that the contract consisted in the donut-maker’s promise to buy the flour when it sank to a certain price, and the flour-supplier’s promise to sell it at that price? So how could the price “rise too high from what the buyer expected when it signed the contract?” Now it sounds as though the contract was an agreement that the donut-maker would buy the flour on a certain date regardless of the price.

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  8. So how could the price “rise too high from what the buyer expected when it signed the contract?”

    You’ve identified another problem with derivatives – the value of the asset estimated by the derivative contract may not truly reflect the true value of the asset.

    Nonsensical, certainly. But derivatives are nonsensical.

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